Backstopping Services Rural Water and Sanitation Support Program (RWSSP)

Since 2005, the Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme (RWSSP) has provided better access to safe drinking water and sanitation to about 474’000 people living in rural areas of Kosovo. Whilst investing into infrastructure improvement, it has supported the development of the Regional Water Companies (RWC). By the end of Phase V late 2017, the country had met the MDGs with over 80% of its population supplied with water by a licensed and regulated water utility. By further strengthening the capacities of the RWCs and their oversight bodies, and with targeted infrastructure investments, the Phase VI – Exit Phase (2018-2020) consolidates the past achievements and contributes to a sustainable and socially inclusive provision of high-quality water and sanitation services in Kosovo. Over the past 15 years, the Programme components were implemented by various local and international institutions. Since Phase IV, Skat Consulting Ltd. has been providing backstopping services to those implementing agencies and to the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO).


Republic of Kosovo

Project Period:

2011 – 2013 (Phase IV)

2013 – 2017 (Phase V)

2018 – 2022 (Phase VI – Exit Phase)

Services Provided:

Backstopping & Technical Advice

  • Backstopping & Program Steering

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Project Manager (team leader): Roger Schmid

Project Officer (team members): Florian Klingel / Jonathan Hecke / Bertha Camacho / Martin Bölli / Vera Muhaxhiri / Dafina Karahoda (all Skat); Philipp Derungs / Manuel Krähenbühl / Hanna Niafiodava (all Holinger)

Name of Partner Organisation(s):

Holinger Ltd.

Description of the Project:

The backstopping mandate to the RWSSP provides support services to the Swiss Cooperation Office in Kosovo (SCO), the implementing agencies and the national sector institutions in the management and implementation of the entire Programme. The three main functions of the BSM are:

  • Programme steering support, quality assurance and advisory services to SCO by participating in planning, monitoring, review, steering and question & answer processes;
  • Support services to the implementing agency regarding particular thematic and methodological aspects of Programme delivery;
  • Management of the funds and specific expertise delivery (short-term mandates of local/international experts) in support (on demand) of national institutions;
  • Leading the knowledge management, documentation and capitalization of the Swiss experience in rural water and sanitation support in Kosovo.

Programme steering support and quality assurance services to SCO

  • Support SCO in the overall monitoring, steering and management of Programme delivery by advancing the intervention strategy, approaches, instruments and partnerships of the RWSSP, including the facilitation of the internal mid-term reviews of each Phase;
  • Ensure adequateness, coherency and results-orientation of the annual planning (Yearly Plans of Operations) and reporting (Operational Reports) documents whilst facilitating their approval; contribute to the End-of-Project-Report;
  • Participate in the regular Steering Committee Meetings by providing evidence and strategic inputs for decision-taking and corrective actions;
  • Participate in major events (such as workshops and roundtables) that take place within the frame-work of the RWSSP and related sector endeavours in general;
  • Provide upon demand thematic advice to SCO regarding rural water supply and sanitation sector development and the related Swiss portfolio of projects.

Support services to the implementing agency

  • Provide upon demand thematic and methodological advice, including knowledge transfer of experiences and best practices from the Western Balkans region, other countries and other projects; in particular related to approaches for inclusive and universal access, operation and maintenance of rural systems, renewable energies and other issues on demand;
  • Ensure that effective knowledge management and capitalization activities take place and are retro-fed into the country’s and SDC’s thematic knowledge brokers and networks, as well as beyond: lead the implementation of a dedicated documentation and dissemination plan, clearly identifying the different target audiences, main messages, products and channels of communications;
  • Provide support on interconnectedness and exchange with SDC’s thematic network for water and on mainstreaming gender equity and good governance in their activities;
  • Support the coordination and cooperation between the implementing agency and other sector actors, in particular with other SDC or SECO funded programmes;
  • Coaching to the local implementing agency to facilitate its establishment as independent service provider on the market in Kosovo after the end of Swiss support to the water services sector.

Management of the funds and specific expertise delivery

  • Manage a flexible fund for consultancies in support to the Water Services Regulatory Authority (WSRA) and the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH);
  • Elaborate the Terms of Reference for the short-term experts that will provide the specific services and demand to WSRA, NIPH and potentially to other national sector institutions;
  • Handle the short-term expertise (selection based on offers upon invitation, contracting, supervision, approval of products) called-in and ensure the dissemination of the knowledge produced.